Flooding in Ciudad Juarez

For those on the list far from the borderland, the news of the rains and floods has probably not been much reported. We have had days of rain now and we are thankful for it always in the desert. BUT, the lack of infrastructure and adequate roads, housing and flood control makes any rain events into disasters in Juarez. Yesterday there were terrible photo of floods all over the rural communities in the Juarez Valley… In Juarez there are hundreds of families who have been flooded out of their homes. Many of the outlying neighborhoods are built on floodplains, so when we do get the rare rains that we are having now, the water rushes down from the hills and these neighborhoods flood. Sometimes it is a slow rise of water, but in many cases, the water rushes down from bare hillsides in torrents. Today one of the lead stories in El Diario is of a primary school in an older central neighborhood that completely collapsed after the walls were weakened by rising flood waters. The article lists 14 other schools that have been severely damaged. Another article posted below has the headline: THE WORKS NEVER DONE… Basically, all those flood control plans never paid for and never carried out… The city and state politicians blame the federal government. No one seems to question the huge salaries of any of these officials nor the corruption that fills pockets and leaves poor people completely unprotected in their homes. If they had homes. molly

Se derrumba primaria; 14 más están cuarteadas

70 Juárez families evacuated after reservoir flood

Las obras que no se hicieron

45 murder victims in Juarez in March; 1,025 in Mexico…reports from El Diario and Milenio

El Diario reports that 45 people were victims of homicide in March.  This is the highest number in the past 5 months. Two of these victims were women, 2 were minors and 2 were Federal policemen shot in an ambush on March 19.  The report says that another body was discovered in a clandestine grave in the Valle de Juarez and this case is being investigated by the special prosecutor for crimes against women, but this one is not included in the count–apparently because it cannot be said for certain when she was murdered. In all since the beginning of the year, 97 people have been victims of homicide. In January, there were 26 murders, the majority related to gang fights and not “organized crime.” In February, the state Fiscalia reported 26 murders, and in addition, the discovery of 3 bodies in hidden graves and one decapitated person. I would count this as a total of 30, since it is unlikely these other dead will show up in another tally.

The problem of how the deaths are classified by the different government agencies is illustrated in the other article  from MILENIO. This national report says that there were 1,025 murders “related to organized crime” in March–an increase from January and February.  There are no criteria provided as to how these murders are classified as “organized crime related” as opposed to other homicides.  The article reports that the state of Chihuahua is still at the top of the list for murders with 186 homicides. [The article doesn't give a figure for the city of Juarez, but if we take the number from the Fiscalia of 45, that would mean there were 141 homicides elsewhere in Chihuahua state in March]. The other most violent states are: Sinaloa with 108 homicides in March; Estado de Mexico — 86; Guerrero — 68.

It is worth noting that the article does not report anything for Tamualipas–a state where numerous very violent incidents were reported during March, but no official tallies of the number of victims seems to exist. The Milenio article does not give a source for its data.

Human rights and the Mexican military…Council on Foreign Relations

For those who care to look back at the record, the reports of severe human rights abuses in the current Mexican context first came to light just a few DAYS after the Mexican Army troops came to Juarez in March 2008. Municipal police walked out in protest; citizens protested home invasions and abductions, notably in the Valle de Juarez. One of the most vocal protesters was Josefina Reyes–she was later murdered by the Mexican Army… Here are her words from early summer, 2008:
“Now you see all these big billboards, ‘We [the army] have come to help you’ — but it isn’t true. They have come to pillage us, to ransack our homes. They take the food in the refrigerator, jewelry, anything . . . and they destroy property. It is not a secret who they are.”
There are many Mexicans who have documented the abuses carried out by the Mexican military against the Mexican people.  It is about time that the international community take note…  molly

MEXICO UNDER SIEGE Mexico drug war displaces families in Sinaloa highlands–LATimes

Note the blaming the victims:
In an interview, Sinaloa state prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera sought to
downplay the problem, saying people flee for many reasons. He also seemed
to suggest that the displaced shared at least part of the blame for their
plight because they coexisted and cooperated with traffickers for so many
decades. Mexico drug war displaces families in Sinaloa Highlands

I believe that the level of displacement may be even greater in a shorter
time period than what happened in the Valle de Juarez in 2009-2010, but
there are similarities.
http://www.texasobserver.org/cover-story/the-deadliest-place-in-mexico

The Norwegian Refugee Council report on displaced person can be found at
this link:
http://www.nrc.no/?did=9633486
The section on the Americas starts at about page 55 of the full pdf of the
report.  molly

Insight Crime report on the displaced in the Sierra Madre

 

Discovery of dumping ground in Valley of Juárez puts slayings of women in spotlight—EPTimes

According to the figures for the state of Chihuahua for 2009, women are 5.9
percent of the total number of homicide victims. I may be missing
something, but I can see no statement or evidence in this article that the
12 (or 22) female murder victims discovered in one (or several) places in
the Valle de Juarez recently and who are thought to have been disappeared
and murdered between 2009 and 2011–I see no evidence in what has been
released about the recent discoveries that establishes that these women and
girls suffered the “very particular type of violence” that has been defined
by academics and others “as systemic sexual femicide, which has to do with
disappearances, torture, rape, mutilation and with abandoning their bodies
in empty lots or deserted areas of the city.”

One of the people quoted in the article says: “And there is also the issue
of the veil covering those responsible for the slayings,” she said.”—But
as far as I am aware, there are no meaningful prosecutions in a huge
percentage of ALL of the more than 10,000 murders that have occurred in
Juarez just since 2008.

I’ve also seen nothing in any of the writing about the “femicides of
Juarez” that establishes these murders as anomalies with the numbers or
characteristics of female homicide victims in other places in Mexico.  In
fact, the only things I’ve seen that even compare the numbers have
established that for all of the years between 1990 and 2007, the only thing
that distinguished the female murder victims in Juarez and the state of
Chihuahua from other states in Mexico is that the victims tended to be
younger. [see:

- El homicidio en México entre 1990 y 2007 : aproximación estadistica
/ Fernando Escalante Gonzalbo ; con la colaboración de Erick E. Aranda
García.
- México, D.F. : Colegio de México ; Secretaria de Seguridad Pública
federal, 2009.]

It seems to actually be the case that there is LESS neglect to the
murders of women in Juarez than in other places in Mexico with similar
numbers of female homicides and in that regard the activism on the part of
families is to be commended for bringing attention to the disappearances
and killings. It would be an advance if such attention could be brought to
bear on the many more thousands of victims over the same years who are men
and boys. [those numbers posted below for 1993-April 2012...]

Years                 Women   Total  % Women

1993-2007………………427       (3,538) –    12%

2008 ……………………….87         (1,623) –    5.3%

2009……………………….164        (2,754)—   5.9%

2010 ………………………304         (3,622) –   8.3%

2011 …………………….. 195           (2,086) – 9.3%

2012 (as of April 30) …55             (416) –  13%

*Women………**…1,232  **(  total **victims)* (14,039) – 8.7%

Women = 8.8 percent of total murder victims over the past 18 years
Statistics from El Diario based on official data from the Chihuahua
State Attorney General

molly

at least 6 killed this weekend in violenct acts–Ciudad Juarez

Between Saturday and Sunday, there have been at least 6 victims of
homicide. This afternoon a decomposing body was found in El Million, a
village in the Valle de Juarez. Also this afternoon, 2 men were shot and
killed in the Colinas de Juarez neighborhood. A woman died in the hospital
after being shot along with 2 other women on Thursday this week. One woman
died at the scene and another victim was also taken to the hospital and
survived. A man and woman were shot on Saturday night at a party. Armed men
arrived and the man and woman were put against the wall and shot. The man
died at the scene. The woman was taken to hospital and the article says
that her condition is unknown. The body of a man was found in the Colonia
Arroyo Colorado and it appeared that he had been killed by blows to the
head with a rock. Also this morning, the body of a man was found in the
colonia Lino Vargas. the body had stab wounds and bullet wounds and was
wrapped in a black bag.

I will attempt to tally the deaths for April so far tomorrow. Since this is
past the middle of the month, I think that El Diario will produce the
tally.  molly

More than Words: Photojournalist captures the violence in Mexico via El Nuevo Sol

Julian Cardona/ Photo by Karla Henry for El Nuevo Sol

Mexican photojournalist Julian Cardona presented his photographs illustrating the violence in Mexico and the economic turmoil its citizens face during his visit to California State University, Northridge on Tuesday, April 11.

Sharing photographs from his books including Exodus/Exodo and Juarez: The Laboratory of our Future, Cardona noted the ramifications of North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA), an agreement among the US, Mexico and Canada, and the risks migrants face when crossing the border.

“First thing I realized was that in the city there were external forces and transnational forces that were playing a role in the everyday life,” said Cardona.

As a photographer for El Diario de Juarez, he witnessed first hand the effects of foreign markets in Mexico, noting the privatization of the public enterprise and market de-regularization.

To read more, visit El Nuevo Sol

For more on the violence in Mexico, click here

Texas Observer: Tyrant’s Foe Carlos Spector

See the attached profile of Carlos Spector and his political asylum
practice in the current issue of the Texas Observer. This is a companion
piece to the story about the hyperviolence in the Valle de Juarez that was
posted last week. That story is online here:

The Texas Observer

The Deadliest Place in Mexico

Tyrant’s Foe by Carlos Spector


82 killed in February in Juarez; lowest in 34 months; 204 for year; 10,289 since 2008

FEBRUARY ended with official count of 82 homicides. Lowest in 34 months. The article mentions the remains of 12 people found in graves in the Valle de Juarez, but it is unclear to me if these dead are included in the 82 homicides for February. I do not believe they are counted. Most of the stories said that these were all women’s bodies and that the article states that the number of women killed in February is 10.

This article says the number killed in January was 118, but I had recorded 122 from my tally. Adding the 82 for Feb, the total for 2012 is now 204. The average number of people per day killed for this year is 3.4.

This is my unofficial tally for the homicide deaths in Juarez since 2008:

2008 = 1,623

2009 = 2,754

2010 = 3,622

2011 = 2,086

2012 = 204 (as of February 29) – a total of 10,289 victims of homicide

According to El Diario, 5 people were murdered on March 1. The dead included a municipal policeman and a woman and her 13 yr old son son shot to death inside their home. Another boy was injured in the attack, but survived. Neighbors said they heard gunfire around 1:00 in the morning, but the bodies were not discovered until after 4 pm in the afternoon. Another man was shot to death and another found dead in the trunk of a car. That story is also posted below.

Desde hace 34 meses no había tan pocos asesinatos

Ejecutan a municipal; creen que rompió acuartelamiento


remains of 51 women found in Valle de Juarez…investigations in limbo at the Juarez morgue

It is now the last day of February and today in El Diario, the number
of unidentified bodies of women found in the Valle de Juarez is
reported to be 51. I was shocked to see this number since the last
number reported from the recent excavations was 15. At first I thought
it was a mistake, but, the 51 includes the unidentified remains that
have been kept at the Juarez morgue for years, I think going back to
about 1995. But many more remains have been found over the past
several months in excavations in the Valle de Juarez but the reports
are only now being made known to the public.

Another story from Diario says that the team of Argentine forensic
specialists left Juarez without submitting reports on their results
and so the investigations are backlogged and confused and the DNA
testing must be repeated… I read the story quickly, but I do not see
any note of when the Argentines are said to have left. I DO remember a
story from many years ago that the team left in disgust at the
conditions in the Juarez police at the time. I am not sure, but it is
possible that the new Chihuahua state officials are trying to defect
attention from their incompetence by pushing the blame onto the
foreign experts called in years ago. I will see if I can find the
story that I believe was in the Washington Post many years ago.

The body of 15 yr old Jessica Leticia Peña García was buried
yesterday. An account from the funeral is posted below from the
EPTimes.

There is also a new story on the Valle de Juarez, accurately titled
THE DEADLIEST PLACE IN MEXICO by Melissa del Bosque at this link:
http://www.theinvestigativefund.org/investigations/international/1615/the_deadliest_place_in_mexico

molly

Martes 28 de Febrero de 2012
Hay 51 osamentas de mujeres sin identificar; continúan rastreos en elValle de JuárezHay más osamentas halladas en el Valle de Juárez: Fiscalía
Se fueron expertos argentinos sin reportar investigaciones
Woman buries teenage daughter’s remains in Juárez